With United expected to be heavily involved in transfer deadline day, what would their former manager think of their late (potential) business?
And so it begins…
The manic final few hours of a transfer window that has been open for two months and yet – inexplicably – some of the biggest clubs in England are attempting to complete multi-million-pound deals as the months, weeks and days have become mere hours.
As managers across the land conduct last-minute business, one of the greatest of all time will sit with his feet up, enjoying the craziness from afar.
But as Sir Alex Ferguson spends the first of many transfer deadline days as little more than an observer, what will he be thinking of the goings-on at his former club?
Much has already been written about David Moyes’ first transfer window as Manchester United boss. And little of it has been glowing. But while he still has time to put it right – if he were to secure Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines and Ander Herrera – the question must be asked why he waited so long in the first place.
Ferguson is not a stranger to deadline day drama. It took him until the final minutes of the final day to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur in 2008. But much of that was due to bad blood between the two sides, with Daniel Levy believing United had acted unprofessionally in their pursuit of the striker.
Aside from that, Ferguson carried out the vast majority of his business early. Perhaps not as early as the myths born from his absence, but certainly early enough to bed players in and allow the start of a new season to, usually, take care of itself.
But this summer has seen United linked with player after player, some smokescreens and others not, with only the early arrival of Guillermo Varela to show for their efforts.
Given that the Uruguayan’s arrival was all-but-secured under Ferguson’s tenure, Moyes is yet to sign anyone despite having the kitty for those “stellar signings”.
Moyes is right in his observation that both he and chief executive Ed Woodward need time to get their feet under the table; that the club is in transition. Had David Gill still been at Old Trafford, you sense United would have been enjoying as quiet a day as their rivals in Blue.
But while we never know, it would be interesting to hear Ferguson’s take on these final few hours, as rumours gather pace and Sky Sports News goes into overload.
Some will say this isn’t the United way. Or perhaps it just wasn’t the Ferguson way.
image: © tomjoad